Page Strategies

Over the past few weeks, our partner Mighty has been working on putting together page strategy documents. These documents consist of two major parts: a strategic foundation and content recommendations.

The strategic foundation asks and concisely answers some important questions about why the page exists: What is the objective of the page and what are we trying to say? Who are the primary audiences and what do we want them to do? What resources do we have or will we need to pull this off?

The content recommendations identify and prioritize specific elements and types of content that will help us meet the page objective. How the various content types actually look and work has yet to be determined. Rather, the page strategy document helps guide the wireframing process and allows us to explore design solutions informed by the strategic inclusion and prioritization of specific content. It also provides a foundation for conversations about content creation for specific pages.

Site map and selecting pages for strategy & design

Along with Mighty, we’ve been working hard to craft a new site-map for all of A site-map is a list of all of the pages in a website, typically organized in hierarchical fashion. This is an important step, as it will help us better understand how all of our content will be structured and relate to each other.

We’re looking at various levels of top-level navigation: primary (main site), secondary, tertiary (audience-specific), as well as dashboards to help us best organize this content.

We’ve started building out what some of the department specific site maps will look like as well – and we’re meeting with some groups to get their feedback on this (including academic departments).

Selecting how many and what kind of page types we’ll need for strategy and design is also in the works. We’re currently evaluating the ideal number of unique pages/templates/designs required to successfully build a new

Site Map and Style Tiles

We are beginning to work through a first draft of a site map for the new Hope website. A site map will serve as a plan for the content organization for each department’s information and communication via the web – and our site as a whole.

We’re asking a handful of faculty members to meet with us to review the site map to be used for future academic department web sites.

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We’re also getting our first look at Style Tiles. These are lower fidelity than full mockups but more precise than mood boards and consist of fonts, colors and interface elements that communicate the essence of our visual brand for the web.

Brand Implementation

In the past few weeks we (along with Mighty, our website design partner) have been learning more about our identified website audiences so we can better communicate with them.

This week we’ve been holding a set of workshops, “Building Your Stories through the Web.” At these sessions we are:

  • Previewing exciting new changes to how we will be providing brand assets to campus (logos, letterhead, business cards, nametags, templates, etc).
  • Sharing an overview of our user personas and scenarios, and introducing a few of them in depth.
  • Walking through several exercises to begin learning how to utilize the personas, and using brand attributes to craft messages.

You can sign up on our online form to attend one of these sessions.

Content & Design Strategy phase

Phase one of Research & Identification is nearing completion, and we are very excited to be moving forward into the Content & Design Strategy phase. During this phase, Mighty will be proposing a new site map and information architecture for the site, and we will begin exploring a few different design directions through style tiles. Style tiles are lower fidelity than full mockups but more precise than mood boards and consist of fonts, colors and interface elements that communicate the essence of our visual brand for the web.

In terms of schedule, Mighty will be working on these deliverables and providing them for review and revision between now and right before Christmas shutdown.

User Personas and Scenarios

Who are our website users and what do they want to do?

Those are the questions we are attempting to answer with the help of our web partner, Mighty. This week we got the first look at our User Personas and Scenarios. These are fictional “people” who have been created based on real-life audiences and needs. They will help us to make better informed decisions as we move forward with the content strategy, structure, and ultimately design of a new Hope website.

Within our 14 personas, we have four prospective students, a prospective parent, a current parent, two current students, a faculty member, a staff member, a prospective faculty member, a recent alumna, an older alumnus, and a community member.

All of these personas have many scenarios related to them. Some unique and some they share. For example these include: “Can I afford to go?”, “Could I play on the volleyball team?”, “What is the academic program like?”, “How do I pay my tuition bill?”, “How do I get involved on campus?”, “What are my options for studying abroad?”, “How do I share my department’s accomplishments?”, “Where’s that form again?”, “What would it be like to work here?”, and “What are my classmates doing now?”.

We’re still working on finalizing these personas, and once finalized we look forward to sharing these with the campus community as we work together on our larger web content strategy.

Stakeholder Interviews Summary

This week, our web design partner, Mighty, presented their findings and summary of the stakeholder interviews that were conducted. This will be helpful in our planning moving forward.

There were some major themes that came out of these discussions which include ideas/thoughts related to KnowHope, campus calendar & events, tickets, registration & advising, department pages, forms & pdfs, student organizations, navigating campus, recruitment & giving, more interactive/dynamic/visual media, diversity, navigation & search, design & structure, content & workflow, and many more.

Cumulatively, these themes provide a foundational understanding of Hope College’s website users that is based on real people and real needs, not guesses and assumptions. We’re excited to use this feedback in the planning of the new Hope website.

Web design focus groups & open forums a success!

Thank you to the many faculty, staff, students, and others who shared your insight and helped us to make our website design focus groups and open forums a success! We are so grateful for your participation with our web design partner, Mighty.

In total, 20 focus groups and 3 open forums were conducted with over 150 people. Out of the 23 total sessions, 10 of them focused on the academic program of the college.

During the coming months there will be more opportunities for you to continue the conversation about the important building blocks and elements of the Hope College story through the web.

If you have further thoughts that you would like to share with Mighty you can contact them at or you can contact us at

New Hope Envelopes & Letterhead Now Available at the Bookstore

We’re excited to share that our friends at The Hope-Geneva Bookstore now have generic Hope College letterhead and matching #10 business envelopes featuring the new Hope logo in stock!

For a limited time, the old Hope College #10 envelopes will still be available. Departments are encouraged to use these for any mailings generated on remaining stock of the old letterhead.

Generic Hope College letterhead can be a great and cost effective way to do mailings for campus departments.

Web design focus groups

The Web Team and Integrated Marketing have continued progress on the Hope College Website Redesign Project. We’ve previously selected a new college-wide content management system (OmniUpdate) and we have selected a new local web design partner to help us with the next phase. The firm, Mighty who is based in Grand Rapids, will bring a wealth of experience and creativity as we further navigate this design process.

The first step in the process with Mighty is “Research and Identification”. In addition to an inventory of content and analytics, we are conducting a series of focus groups and open forums with the campus community over the next few weeks.

We’re reaching out to faculty, staff, and students across campus to ask for their participation in website focus groups. Focus groups will assemble 8-12 participants to meet with Mighty. In addition to the specific focus groups that are being formed, we will also be facilitating several open forums which will be available to all employees and students as a chance to learn more, ask questions, and offer feedback.

During this time and in these next months there will be opportunities for faculty, staff, and students to continue the conversation about the important building blocks of the foundation and elements of the Hope College story through the web.

We thank the campus community for your participation in this important process!